Best Valentine's Day ever. Nick and Katie, Bacchus 2010.
Congrats to Ashley and Dave, who just got engaged! Bacchus 2010.
Me, Ashley, and Joe. Endymion 2007. [We missed you so much this year, Joe!!]
DON'T get stuck without a beverage!
Ashley and Katie drinking rum and Coke. Mine is spiked with whiskey. Endymion 2010.
Nick double-fistin' Miller Lite, approximately 2392148 more in the backpack. Endymion 2007.
The newest Mardi Gras technology: premixed margaritas in a pouch. Like a Capri Sun, except with booze. Mar-GO-rita is a local New Orleans company that makes an excellent product. PERFECT for stashing in a cooler or backpack for a parade. Remember, DON'T bring glass containers--the cops will not be pleased and will ask you to get rid of it. Been there, done that.
DO look out for celebrities! You never know who will come rolling down the street.
Observe a reverent silence. You are in the presence of Breesus. Bacchus 2010.
Ashley and me and JOURNEY! Endymion 2007
DON'T, in the name of all that is holy, put your children on top of a six-foot ladder to watch the parade. You would think that this would be common sense. You would be wrong.
Kids perched precariously on ladders for some reason. Endymion 2007.
The controversial issue of ladders brings us right to my next point. DO pick a side of the street and commit to it. Passionately. Once you've decided where your heart lies, represent your side with an awesome teeshirt from Fleurty Girl:
I'm a sidewalk sider to the bone. Too many ladders on the neutral ground side!
Note to non-New Orleanians: 'Neutral ground' is the New Orleans term for the median. There are special New Orleans words for everything.
DON'T get on your drunk friend's shoulders unless you are willing to return home with fewer teeth than you left with.
DO add a little spirit to your neighbor's photos:
Ashley and Dave get photobombed by wonderful hippie man. Endymion 2010.
DON'T stand too close to the street when a marching band is coming, or you will get whacked in the face by a swinging trombone and everyone will laugh at you.
The marching bands are my favorite part. Bacchus 2010.
DO greet your neighbors with the customary salutation: WHO DAT
Who Dat Nation says yeah. Bacchus 2010.
DON'T roll up to a big parade five minutes before it's supposed to start. Especially when you brought 20 or 30 family members. You won't be able to find a spot and will end up provoking rage in the people you crowd:
Worst Mardi Gras neighbors EVER. Flambeaux in background. Bacchus 2010.
For the best throws, DO try to make eye contact with someone on the float. Wave your hands around and smile and shout THROW ME SOMETHIN MISTER!!! DON'T flash, especially if you are Uptown. You'll just look silly. DON'T pick beads up off the ground--it's bad luck.
Gorgeous float. Bacchus 2010.
A fatty strand of pink beads! Bacchus 2010.
Whew. That's all I can think of for now. What did I leave off?